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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Khaled Abu Toameh’

Khaled Abu Toameh: Why Is Jordan Keeping Out Palestinian Refugees?

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

More than 1,000 Palestinians who fled the violence in Syria and were hoping to find temporary shelter in Jordan, have been stranded along the border between Syria and Jordan for the past few weeks. The Jordanian authorities have thus far refused to allow them into the kingdom.

The Jordanian authorities have set up a makeshift refugee camp along the border with Syria, where the Palestinians are being held in tents, with poor sanitary conditions.

Jordan’s treatment of Palestinian refugees is not uncommon for an Arab country. Lebanon and Egypt have also refused to grant asylum to the fleeing Palestinians. This is also not the first time that an Arab country keeps Palestinians waiting on the border. In the past, Palestinians have also been denied entry into Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Libya.

Arab support for the Palestinians has been largely rhetorical over the past two decades, forcing the Palestinians to become almost entirely dependent on American and EU taxpayers’ money.

At the same time, an additional 100,000 Syrians who fled their country in the past year have been permitted to enter Jordan.

The Jordanians are worried that if they allow a few hundred Palestinians to settle in the kingdom, this would create a precedent and pave the way for the 500,000 Palestinians living in Syria to flee to Jordan.

As Jordan’s King Abdullah already has a problem with the 80% Palestinian majority in his kingdom, he does not want the Palestinians in the kingdom – they pose a demographic threat to the Jordanians.

The decision to ban the Palestinian refugees from entering Jordan coincided with reports that the Jordanian authorities have begun revoking the Jordanian citizenship of Palestinians which had previously been granted.

Because the Palestinians pose a demographic threat to the Jordanians, hundreds of thousands of them residing there will lose their status as Jordanian citizens.

The Jordanian government, according to sources in Amman, has even decided to revoke the Jordanian citizenship of Palestinian Authority leaders, including Mahmoud Abbas.

King Abdullah this week dispatched a high level delegation to Ramallah to discuss these new measures against the Palestinians with the Palestinian leadership. Headed by Jordan’s interior minister, the delegation informed the Palestinians that the kingdom would not be able to help the Palestinians fleeing Syria.

King Abdullah is so worried about the talk – mainly in Israel – about the need to establish a Palestinian state in Jordan that he recently instructed his government to come up with a new electoral law that would keep Palestinians away from parliament and most government institutions altogether.

 

Originally published by Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

Khaled Abu Toameh

Khaled Abu Toameh: Urgently Needed – “Fill the Vacuum” for Israeli Arabs So The Extremists Will Not

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Some Israeli Arab leaders have caused tremendous damage to relations between Jews and Arabs inside Israel. These leaders are responsible for the fact that a growing number of Jews today view Arab citizens as a “fifth column” and an “enemy from within.”

The Arab members of Knesset should be fighting for equality and better services for their constituents, and not spending most of their time defending Fatah and Hamas and issuing fiery statements against Israel.

Participating in a flotilla aid ship to the Gaza Strip does not help improve the living conditions of Israeli Arabs. Nor does participating in Fatah rallies held in Ramallah and other parts of the West Bank.

Some of the Arab Knesset members have obviously forgotten that they were elected by Arab citizens of Israel and not by Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

There is nothing wrong, of course, with expressing solidarity with the Palestinians there. After all, Israeli Arabs see themselves as part of the Palestinian people.

But there is a feeling among Israeli Arabs that at least half of their representatives in the Knesset care more about their Palestinian brethren in the West Bank and Gaza Strip than their constituents.

Israeli Arabs would like to see their representatives fighting to solve the many problems they are facing, such as poverty and unemployment. They would like to see Arab parliamentarians struggling for improved infrastructure and more government funds for Arab municipalities.

Israel, also, can play a role in undermining the radicals among its Arab community. The best way to weaken the radicals is by embracing the Arab citizens rather than alienating them.

Embracing Israeli Arabs would boost their confidence in Israel and drive them away from radicals who are making every effort to drag Israel’s Arab citizens toward a confrontation with the Israeli establishment.

If Israel does not build a community center in Baka Al-Gharbiyya, the Islamic Movement will do so.

Israel needs to start working on repairing the damage that has been caused to relations between Jews and Arabs inside the country. The PLO and Hamas have damaged relations not only between Jews and Palestinians, but also between Arabs and Jews living inside Israel.

In recent years, Israeli governments have taken a number of decisions aimed at rebuilding mutual confidence between Arab and Jewish citizens.

These decisions include allocating additional public funding to Arab municipalities, and investment in infrastructure in Arab villages and towns, as well as incorporating Israeli Arabs in jobs in the public and private sectors.

When the Arab citizens see that their state cares about them and does not relate to them as an enemy, they will keep a distance from the radicals. The radical leaders of the Arab community find fertile soil among disgruntled Israeli Arabs, especially young people who are looking for a better life and paying jobs.

The overwhelming majority of Israeli Arabs remains loyal to the state even though they do not identify with its national anthem. Peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs inside Israel is not a lost cause.

 

Originally published by Gatestone Institute www.gatestoneinstitute.org

Khaled Abu Toameh

Khaled Abu Toameh: The Practical Three-State Solution

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Ahmed Qurei [aka: Abu Ala], one of the major architects of the failed Oslo Accords that were signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993, is now advocating a “one-state solution” for Jews and Arabs. According to Qurei, the “two-state solution” is no longer realistic and should therefore be abandoned in favor of a democratic and open country where all Jews and Arabs live together under one government.

Of course Qurei blames Israel for the failure of the two-state concept because of construction in West Bank settlements and Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem. He says that in light of the new facts on the ground that Israel has created, especially over the past two decades, the two-state solution, which he once strongly supported, has become infeasible.

However, the idea of creating one state for Israelis and Palestinians is also infeasible, not to mention unrealisitic.

A majority of both Palestinians and Israelis, according to public opinion polls, are opposed to the idea.

The last thing Israel wants is to turn millions of Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and refugee camps in the Arab world into Israeli citizens. For Israelis, that would mean the end of Israel as a homeland for Jews.

Most Palestinians are also opposed to the “one state solution”: they want to be separated from, and not integrated into, Israel. For decades, the Palestinians have been struggling for independence,

The Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank has repeatedly come out against the idea of “one state for two peoples.” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has emphasized again and again in the last few years that the “two-state solution” remains the “number one, two and three and only option” for the Palestinians.

Yet despite the massive opposition on both sides, a few Israelis and Palestinians have launched a campaign to promote the the establishment of one state. The campaign, according to Palestinian sources, is organized by some EU-funded non-governmental organizations in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

In the past few weeks, large, expensive-looking posters advocating the “one-state solution” have been appearing on billboards in major Palestinian cities in the West Bank, drawing sharp condemnations from many Palestinians. On instructions from the Palestinian leadership, the posters were torn down and the organizers were rebuked and warned not to repeat the “provocation.”

Qurei and those who are working to promote the “one-state solution” are ignoring the facts on the ground: namely that the Palestinians already have two separate “states” next to Israel – one in the West Bank and the other in the Gaza Strip.

They are also ignoring the reality that the two Palestinian entities have been at war with each other since 2007, when Hamas seized control over the Gaza Strip and threw out the Palestinian Authority.

If the Palestinians cannot live together in peace in one country, how can they be expected to live in peace with Jews in one state?

The three-state solution is, for now, the only, and best, option on the table. The two-state solution should be put on hold until the Palestinians reunite and start speaking in one voice. Meanwhile, those who are trying to promote a one-state solution are just wasting their time and the time of most Israelis and Palestinians.

 

Originally published by Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/

Khaled Abu Toameh

Khaled Abu Toameh: Should Jordan Be a Palestinian State?

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Those who support the idea of turning Jordan into a Palestinian state need to be think carefully about the consequences of such a move. A Palestinian state in Jordan would only be a source of even further instability and tension in the Middle East.

The royal family in Jordan has always been friendly to Israel and the West. Like his father, the late King Hussein, King Abdullah II is probably Israel’s best friend and ally in the Arab and Islamic world.

The long border between Israel and Jordan has been relatively quite over the past few decades — thanks to the Jordanian authorities’ tremendous efforts to prevent terror attacks from their territories.

Turning Jordan into Palestine would mean the loss of a moderate and rational Arab leader at a time when Islamists are rising to power in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Libya.

It would mean the creation of a third state for the Palestinians, who already have two entities – one in the West Bank and another in the Gaza Strip.

A Palestinian state in Jordan would be run by either Hamas or Fatah — the two parties that have failed their people again and again in the past few decades. In any event, whoever replaces the royal family in Jordan would not be as moderate, pragmatic, and open-minded as the Hashemites.

The Jordanian monarch has displayed courage by resisting pressure from wealthy Arab countries like Qatar to allow Hamas – after it was thrown out of Syria – to establish its headquarters in Amman.

King Abdullah II, who since the beginning of the “Arab Spring” has been forced to tackle growing unrest in his kingdom, should also be commended for resisting immense pressure from Muslim Brotherhood and many Jordanians and Palestinians to cut off diplomatic ties with Israel.

Security cooperation between Israel and Jordan has always been strong: the two countries face the same challenges, threats, and enemies.

King Abdullah II and his father have prevented Hamas from establishing terror bases in the kingdom.

In 1999, King Hussein did not hesitate to expel Hamas leaders after closing down their offices in Amman.

A few years later, the Jordanians thwarted plans by Hamas to smuggle weapons into the kingdom for the purpose of launching terror attacks against Israel.

The king already has too many problems at home. The talk about “Jordan is Palestine” and “Palestine is Jordan” only aggravates these problems and plays into the hands of those who would turn the kingdom into a radical state that would probably be afflicted with Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Originally published by Stonegate Institute www.stonegateinstitute.org

Khaled Abu Toameh

Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas Responsible For Attacks on Israel

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Although Hamas has not been directly involved in the current round of violence, the Islamist movement should be held fully responsible for rocket and mortar attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip. In the past, Hamas has proven that when it wants to, it can prevent attacks on Israel from the areas under its control in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas security forces have even arrested members of various armed groups who launched attacks on Israel in violation of the truce with Israel.

These groups, including Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, sometimes went so far as accusing Hamas of blocking “armed resistance” against Israel.

Hamas did no do so out of love for Israel. Nor did it stop the rocket and mortar attacks because it has changed its ideology and does not believe in terror or in allowing Israel to exist.

Hamas has by and large abided by the truce with Israel for two reasons.

First, Hamas is afraid of another massive Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip similar to Operation Cast Lead in 2008. Since that operation, Hamas has been behaving itself because its leaders have absorbed the message that was sent to them by Israel, namely that Israelis “can wake up one morning and go crazy.”

Second, Hamas would not be able to survive another major Israeli military operation. Its leaders know that this time the price would be much heavier and could lead to the toppling of the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. This is in addition to the physical elimination of the top Hamas leadership.

Hamas considers its control of the Gaza Strip as a strategic asset.

Over the past five years, Hamas has turned the Gaza Strip into an independent Islamist emirate with many features of a sovereign state.

In many ways, Hamas has several things that the Palestinian Authority is lacking.

Hamas, for instance, maintains control over the Palestinian side of the borders with Israel and Egypt and its officials and members are able to travel from one place to another inside the Gaza Strip without having to pass through Israeli army checkpoints.

Moreover, Hamas leaders are free to travel to any part of the world through the Rafah border terminal it has with Egypt without the need for Israeli permission.

Hamas leaders often boast that their movement has succeeded over the past few years in “restoring law and order” to the Gaza Strip by cracking down on various militias and powerful clans.

It is only natural, therefore, that the sovereign government in the Gaza Strip, in this case Hamas, be held fully responsible for all that happens in the areas under its control.

It would be a mistake to allow Hamas to avoid responsibility under the pretext that “others” are firing at Israel, and not Hamas.

The same applies to Hizbullah in Lebanon, where the Lebanese government should be held fully responsible for any attack carried out by the Shiite militia from there.

If the Hamas or Lebanese governments cannot stop terror attacks from their territories, that is not reason for their absolution from responsibility. It would be a mistake to allow these governments to have it both ways — on the one hand claiming they are legitimate and sovereign governments, while on the other hand avoiding responsibility for terror attacks.

 

Originally published by Stonegate Institute www.stonegateinstitute.org

Khaled Abu Toameh

Khaled Abu Toameh: Mahmoud Abbas’ “Mother of All Letters”

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas deserves an award for being the best master of gimmicks in the Middle East.

After his failed statehood bid at the UN Security Council and his unsuccessful attempts to end the power struggle between his Fatah faction and Hamas, the 76-year old Abbas has resorted to his old habit of issuing empty threats.

Abbas’s most recent threat, his aides said this week, was to send the “mother of all letters” to the Israeli government regarding the stalled peace process.

Abbas’s explosive letter will hold Israel alone responsible for the failure of the peace process, mainly because of its refusal to halt construction in the settlements and accept the pre-1967 lines as the borders of a future Palestinian state, the aides revealed.

They added that the president was busy these days writing the “mother of all letters,” which will be sent to the Americans and Europeans before it is delivered to the Israeli government.

By describing the letter as the “mother of all letters,” Abbas and his aides are hoping to create drama and suspense over the stalled peace talks with Israel.

The Palestinian leadership is hoping that the sensation surrounding Abbas’s letter will shift worldwide attention back to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

They are worried that Iran has stolen the limelight from the Palestinian issue – they are therefore trying to win back the attention of the world.

Abbas and his representatives expressed that concern this week after hearing the speech of US President Barack Obama before AIPAC’s annual gathering in Washington.

Noting that the speech had completely ignored the Palestinian issue, Palestinian officials in Ramallah voiced “deep disappointment” with Obama.

On March 7, Abbas convened yet another urgent meeting of PLO and Fatah leaders in Ramallah to discuss the content of this “mother of all letters” which he intends to send to Israel. The meeting, which came less than 48 hours after Obama’s speech, reflected the increased concern of the Palestinians over the world’s fading attention to their problems.

Nevertheless, no one in Ramallah is expecting Abbas’s dramatic letter to contain anything new.

The most extreme scenario would be a threat by Abbas to dismantle the Palestinian Authority and submit his resignation.

It would be hard to find one Palestinian who would be surprised if Abbas’s letter included such a threat, particularly in light of the fact that the Palestinian president has talked about stepping down and dissolving the Palestinian Authority on numerous occasions in the past.

Some Palestinians are already referring to the “mother of all letters” as another one of Abbas’s “gimmicks”. “The Israelis must be preparing the shelters because they are so scared of Abbas’s letter,” a Palestinian political analyst remarked sarcastically. “Many people have become used to Abbas’s gimmicks and empty threats.”

Instead of wasting his time on writing the “mother of all letters,” Abbas should return to the negotiating table with Israel immediately and unconditionally to ensure a better future for his people. Gimmicks and tricks will not help advance the cause or interests of the Palestinians.

 

Originally published by Stonegate Institute www.stonegateinstitute.org

Khaled Abu Toameh

Khaled Abu Toameh: Arabs Are Beginning to Miss the Dictators

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

On the first anniversary of the “Arab Spring,” many Arabs are beginning to wonder whether they would soon start missing the corrupt dictators who ruled them for the past few decades.

The “Arab Spring” was supposed to bring democracy, transparency and reform to the Arab world. It was supposed to end human rights violations and see the birth of a free and independent media.

The “Arab Spring” was supposed to promote the rights of women and minorities in the Arab world and encourage young Arabs and Muslims to abandon extremist views and terrorism.

The “Arab Spring” was supposed to be led by young and charismatic Western-educated activists who would bring moderation and pragmatism to the Arab world.

The “Arab Spring” was supposed to turn the Arab countries into attraction for tourism and investors from all around the world.

But judging from the outcome of the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, it is evident that the ‘Arab Spring” has failed to achieve any of these goals. As far as many Arabs are concerned, their “spring” has thus far proven to be a total disaster.

Residents in several Arab countries affected by the “Arab Spring” protests said they feel less safe now than they did before the uprisings, according to a study conducted by Abu Dhabi’s Gallup Polls.

The four Arab countries where the leaders have been toppled are now in the hands of Muslim fundamentalists, who used the “Arab Spring” as a vehicle to rise to power.

Tunisia’s Islamist party, Ennahda, is already demanding an Islamic state. Human rights activists say that with the arrival of the “Arab Spring,” freedom of speech in Tunisia, instead of growing, has died.

Nabil Karoui, owner of a Tunisian TV station, is currently on trial for blasphemy after airing the French-Iranian animated film “Persepolis,” which features a cartoon depiction of God. About 150 lawyers filed lawsuits against Karoui for “violating sacred values” and disturbing public order.”

Two weeks ago, hundreds of Muslim fundamentalists who follow the radical Wahhabi doctrine of Islam took to the streets of Tunis to demand the implementation of Sharia laws in their country.

The “Arab Spring” has also seen the rise of Islamists to power in Egypt, where the country is jointly controlled by a military dictatorship and Muslim Brotherhood.

The military rulers are responsible for massive abuse of human rights and freedom of expression, while the Muslim Brotherhood and their even more radical rivals, the Salafis, are working hard to turn Egypt into an Islamic state.

Libya and Yemen, the other two countries affected by the “Arab Spring,” are on the brink of civil war. Libya has fallen into the hands of dozens of armed ruthless militias, some of which are affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda. In Yemen, Arab political analysts say that it is only a matter of time before the country falls into the hands of Al-Qaeda.

In these four Arab countries, women, Christians, journalists, human rights activists, and political opponents are being targeted, and in some instances slaughtered, on a daily basis either by the new rulers or militiamen and Muslims fundamentalists.

The “Arab Spring” is anything but a “great revolution.” It is a spring of massacres, destruction and violence, as Patriarch Beshara al-Rai, the head of Lebanon’s Maronite Church, put it.

“We are with the Arab Spring but we are not with this spring of violence, war, destruction and killing,” he told Reuters. “This is turning to winter. We cannot implement reforms by force and arms. How can it be an Arab Spring when people are being killed every day?”

 

Originally published by Stonegate Institute www.stonegateinstitute.org

Khaled Abu Toameh

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/khaled-abu-toameh-arabs-are-beginning-to-miss-the-dictators/2012/03/07/

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